Sergio Aguero could make his long-awaited debut for Barcelona at the end of next month – but his side’s clash with Real Madrid on October 24 could still come too soon.
The Argentine left Manchester City for the LaLiga side on a free transfer in the summer, but his spell at the Nou Camp has not gone according to plan.
Aguero was ruled out for up to 10 weeks after injuring a tendon in his right calf in training in August, just a day after Barcelona had confirmed his friend Lionel Messi’s shock departure to Paris Saint-Germain.
Previous recovery schedules had suggested the 33-year-old could make his LaLiga debut on October 17 at the earliest, when the five-time European Cup winners host Valencia.
However, the former Atletico star may have to wait a bit longer to make his bow.
According to Spanish sports paper El Mundo Deportivo, Aguero began individual training in the gym last week and is expected to take to the pitch on his own before the end of the month.
Bar any major setbacks, Aguero is expected to return to full training by the middle of October and could make his debut by the end of next month. However, according to the same source, he is unlikely to be fit in time to feature in the first Clasico of the season.
Aguero could make his first appearance for Barcelona either away against Rayo Vallecano on October 27 or at home against Alaves four days later.
The Argentina striker, who won the Copa America in July as the Albiceleste ended a 28-year wait for a major trophy, was blighted by injury in his final season in the Premier League when he made only seven Premier League starts.
Aguero spent 10 years at City, winning five Premier League titles, six League Cups and the FA Cup and left as the club’s all-time top goalscorer with 260 goals in 390 games.
“We all know that Barcelona are the best club in the world,” he told reporters when he signed a two-year deal with Barcelona in June.
“I think I made a great decision to be here and of course it is a step forward in my career.”
The excitement surround his arrival, however, quickly petered out a couple of months later when the sheer scale of Barcelona’s financial troubles was laid bare.
President Joan Laporta revealed the club had lost €487m last season and was €1.17bn in the red and could not afford to keep Messi.
A day later, Messi broke down in tears at a press conference as he announced he would leave the club after 21 years and 17 seasons in the first team, reiterating his desire had been to stay at the Nou Camp.
Barcelona, who also sold Antoine Griezmann to Atletico Madrid, have seven points after three games in La Liga and sit three points behind leaders Real, who have played one game more.
Their Champions League campaign, however, got off to a dismal start as they were humbled 3-0 at home by Bayern Munich on Tuesday.